Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Didn’t Fully Enjoy But Am Glad I Read

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @That Artsy Reader Girl. Weekly prompts are posted on her blog each week and any blogger who want to participate can create their own list of 10, 5, 2, 1 or any combo of numbers in between in answer to that prompt. Do what works for you on your blog, and join in the listing fun!

This week’s prompt is “Books I Disliked But Am Glad I Read.” This is a tough topic this week! Mostly because when I dislike a book I am hard pressed to find reasons for being glad I spent the time reading it. I’ve sort of changed my habits as a blogger over the year + that I’ve been in the business – meaning that if I’m really disliking something I’m a lot more prone to DNFing it now than I used to be. There’s too many great titles out there I’m itching to read to waste time on a book I’m not enjoying!

That being said, I’m going to try to participate anyway with books I didn’t enjoy as much as I hoped I would, but am glad that I read them anyway – for the bragging rights.

Books I didn’t enjoy as much as I’d hoped but am glad I read!


  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – So I read and reviewed this one before I started my blog over on Goodreads (review here). This one hurt to not enjoy as much as I hoped I would. I am obsessed with the television show, but I really felt that the book paled in comparison. Jamie is too brutish, and Claire too noncommittal to finding a way home. I felt like the Claire I love from the television show is lost in the pages of a book that is several hundred pages too long.
  • The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson – Speaking of books that are several hundred pages too long… I loved the first Mistborn book, but the sequel really underwhelmed me. It’s too much circular politicking and not enough action.
  • I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo – I actually enjoyed this one. Just not as much as I’d hoped and not for the reasons that the author probably intended. This is one of the ONLY YA contemporary romance books I’ve ever read though, so I’m still glad I gave it a shot.
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle – Another book I read before I started blogging. I think if I had read this as a child, I probably would have thought it was great. As an adult though… I found it lacking in a number of regards. Still glad I read it though, just to say I did, and so I can recognize how ludicrous Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon look as Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit – seriously, they look nothing like they are described in the book.
  • The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews – I read this years ago for an English class I was taking at the time. I’m glad I read it only as it affirmed that Self-Help/Inspirational books are just not for me.
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik – I wish that I could say that I loved this like everyone else did, but alas, this book and I did not get along. I thought the beginning was great, but things quickly fell apart. I hated the way male characters were written in this, and the romance was pitiful. Still, I get what a powerhouse this book has become and am glad I saw it through to the end.
  • Bird Box by Josh Mallerman – another book I read before I was a blogger. It wasn’t terrible. I just expected more from it. I found the descriptions sparse and content lacking.
  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – I enjoyed this one as it was one of the very first ARCs I was ever approved for via Netgalley. Otherwise, the purple prose and lack of a real plot made this a real challenge in my first year of blogging.
  • The Hero Of Ages by Brandon Sanderson – Yes, another Brandon Sanderson title made it onto this list, and the second Mistborn book. I’m mostly just glad that I made it through this trilogy so that I can say I’ve read them, but other than that I think this must be one of the most overhyped adult fantasy series I’ve ever read.

The_Wise_Man's_Fear_cover

I saved my most controversial pick for last! The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss was another book I read before I started blogging – though I did review it on Goodreads. After absolutely loving the first book in the series, I was underwhelmed by this entry. The plot seemed awfully repetitive of plots from the first book, until it veered fully into levels of teen-boy wish fulfillment that are too silly and lengthy to discuss in this post.

I’m glad I read this because this series is so beloved and I can speak on it with others, but I’m not that hyped for book 3 anymore. To be truthful, I don’t think Patrick Rothfuss is either, given the 6+ year gap between books and that there’s been no update on Doors of Stone for ages.


If one of your favorites made it onto this list – please don’t hate me! Lets chat below about why you love those books instead. Change my mind! Or, lets chat about books you didn’t really enjoy, but are glad you read, below!

xoxo

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62 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Didn’t Fully Enjoy But Am Glad I Read

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  1. I read Birdbox and liked it. It was very atmospheric and I don’t need much to feel scared.. I had an unsettling feeling all through the novel and there’s indeed not happening so much so it must have been the great writing. That said, I don’t feel the need to read other books by him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think “atmospheric” is a great word to use to describe Bird Box! I liked that aspect of it, but I’d agree with you, Inge, that I didn’t really feel compelled to read another book by the author after that experience. I think I was hoping for more visceral scares than pure atmosphere.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the writing in The Bone Witch but overall didn’t enjoy it that much. I will say the sequel was so much better! The Mistborn trilogy is on my TBR and I’m honestly so excited for it. I love Uprooted! + I loved The Name of the Wind too, but I don’t want to start the sequel because it might not compare and I don’t want to wait!

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  3. So glad I’m not the only one who wasn’t blown away by Uprooted and The Well of Ascension! I’ve been a bit reluctant to get to Hero of Ages, but maybe I’ll finally give it a go just to finish it off 🙂 Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I totally agree on “A Wrinkle in Time”! I read it earlier this year and although I liked it, I’m convinced younger me would’ve enjoyed it way more than current me did. As for Patrick Rothfuss.. I own the two books but haven’t read them yet. Some day, haha. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Good to know! I just hope for everyone who read this book’s sake the third one is being published soon. I think there’s a lot of frustration on that front. [And I might go crazy myself if I like the books and then have to wait for the skies know how long to continue the series..]

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who didn’t love Uprooted! I dnf’d it, because I found the “romance” so problematic, and didn’t want to continue seeing it romanticized.

    And I was really excited about I Believe in a Thing Called Love, despite not being the biggest YA contemporary romance fan, but everyone seems to be pretty underwhelmed by it.

    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lily, I am so happy that you and I are on the same page about the problematic relationship in Uprooted. The Dragon was such a jerk to the main character, and the fact that he was her kidnapper and she STILL falls for him boggled my mind. Like whaaaaat?

      I liked MOST of I Believe in a Thing Called Loved – aside from the main character. Everything else (diversity, other characters, etc.) was definitely enjoyable.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’d have a hard time coming up with titles for this list. Maybe Wheel of Time because at least now I can speak to a broader knowledge of fantasy (my sole motivation for trying to continue it). An maybe Shannara. I think the only one on your list I’ve read is Uprooted, and even though I rated it highly, all of the negative thrown towards it recently actually has me questioning why I liked it lol. Great list. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. A challenge mostly because I’m rarely glad I read anything I don’t like unless I can chalk it up as fantasy “research” lol. Great Hunt was good. Books 3 and 4 not so much (and those are supposed to be the good ones!!) I may continue with 5 at some point, but for now I’d rather read literally everything else. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I have Outlander but haven’t read it yet – I’ve heard several people say they enjoy the series more than the books which surprised me as usually, it is the other way around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy to hear that I have some company in thinking the TV show is better than the book. I’ve liked the Outlander Facebook page on Facebook though, and the book fans are VERY vocal on there any time the show deviates (in small ways) from the book. It’s a pretty faithful adaptation I’ve heard.

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  8. I almost reread A Wrinkle In Time before the movie came out, but I didn’t remember liking it that much the first time through. With the dismal reviews of the movie, I ended up skipping both.

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  9. I hadn’t read any of these! phew. I would have a hard time thinking of a list, I would probably put books that had a lot of hype but that I didn’t enjoy (i.e. Little Fires Everywhere) because although I wasn’t a huge fan, I get to discuss it with more readers 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great list, I absolutely loved Uprooted but I can totally understand why you didn’t like it and I’ve been dying to read Bird Box because I have heard many great things about it. And now that I see it on your list I want to check it out sooner and see how I feel about the book. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post-Bentley.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I read The Well of Ascension and I did enjoy it, but I second your opinion it’s a bit too long and too little action… felt even more so because the first book was that great!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great list! I’m a huge fan of DNFing books that aren’t working out for me too. I started reading I Believe in a Thing Called Love and ended up feeling super uncomfortable with pretty much everything Desi did. I don’t think I made it very far before I gave up. But I loved reading your review of it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You don’t know how relieved I am to find someone who found Desi’s behavior in I Believe in a Thing Called Love totally uncalled for and over the top. I kept expecting the other shoe to drop and have her realize she couldn’t treat life like a korean drama, but without that realization the novel was just missing something.

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  13. I get what you mean about Outlander. I’ve heard that quite a bit about well of ascension and it’s made me nervous to pick it up (I will at some point though). I couldn’t connect with wrinkle in time, so I hear you there. And I couldn’t agree more about Wise Man’s Fear just being a teen boy’s wish fulfilment- YES! And I also liked the first one, but boy was I letdown by the sequel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy that you and I are on the same page about all of these! I was so worried I was going to alienate myself from a lot of people with this post. My lack of appreciation for Outlander didn’t keep me from loving the show though – I think it’s great.

      I was so let down by The Wise Man’s Fear though. The first book was one of my favorite reads of the year, and then the second one felt aimless and too devoted to the wish fulfillment aspect of Kvothe’s storytelling.

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  14. It’s funny — I really loved book 1 of Outlander but book 2 was awwwful. I stopped after that and said I wouldn’t read any of the others.

    While I didn’t love Wise Man’s Fear, I’m still looking forward to book 3, because I sense that Ambrose will get his comeuppance wonderfully and I really want to read how Kvothe does it!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I agree with you on Uprooted, could not enjoy reading their “relationship” and he was such a rude creeper to her. But I also couldn’t get into the magic system. It seemed like MC just always /knew/ the right magic words at the right moment. That was… disappointing after all the hype around it.

    I love Outlander as a show but the books are daunting doorstoppers! I think I’ve read a couple pages but it just didn’t suck me in the way the show did.

    Awesome T10T!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a great list! I actually really like Outlander but cannot stand the show at all. I DNF’ed the show but continued reading the books.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s all good. If anything, it proves that the show and the book are two completely different beasts that captivates different audiences. So we legitimize each other’s preference!

        Liked by 1 person

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